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Linux

Audiocasts/Shows: Coder Radio, TLLTS, and FLOSS Weekly

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Testing the Test | Coder Radio 398

    The guys can't help but laugh when they hear the test tests one well-known online giant is testing. You might say they get a bit testy.

  • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 891

    brave browser, gnome 40, lottalinuxlinks is back, tablets

  • FLOSS Weekly 614: Ethics and Open Source - Openbase, Elastic vs AWS

    Matt Asay believes we need a new way to think about open source. This comes on the heels of the Elastic vs AWS controversy. Shawn Powers and new co-host Katherine Druckman join Doc Searls in a lively discussion of ethics and open source on FLOSS Weekly. The panel takes a look at three efforts currently making news: the Ethical Source Movement; Matt Asay's Infoworld post titled A New Way To Think About Open Source; and Openbase, which Venturebeat says "wants to be the Yelp for open source software packages."

Quick Look at Redcore Linux 2101 Beta

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Every once in a while I try Gentoo Linux or something based on it. Redcore Linux is one of those few distributions that made it their mission to "bring the power of Gentoo Linux to the masses". To achieve this it provides a repository of pre-built binary packages on a system that updates on a rolling basis. "Redcore Linux is built from Gentoo Linux stage3. We then add a kernel, a bootloader and a few other things like dbus and initramfs generator (Dracut), we configure the init system (OpenRC) and so we have the core of Redcore Linux, a Gentoo Linux stage4 if you will."
A beta build of Redcore 2101 was released only a few days ago that the team apparently feel so confident about that they even think it may be better than some of their earlier stable releases. Given the nature of this distribution one can be sure this is fairly up to date.

Redcore beta is using Linux 5.10.5, GCC 10.2.0, Glibc 2.32, binutils 2.35, LLVM 11.0.1, mesa 20.3.2, libdrm 2.4.103, xorg-server 1.20.10, qt 5.15.2, kde-frameworks 5.77, kde-apps 20.12.1, kde-plasma 5.20.5 and flatpak support. The init in use is OpenRC.

Redcore provides what's called a hardened Linux system to reduce the available attack surface of the OS. The file Redcore.Linux.Hardened.2101.KDE.amd64.BETA.iso is 3.7 GB in size to download. Despite being hardened the system is supposed to work and targets "casual Laptop/Desktop users and, to some extent, Workstation power users".

Read more

EasyOS Dunfell 2.6.1 released for x86_64 PC

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Yesterday announced EasyOS Dunfell 2.6.1 aarch64 for the Raspberry Pi4:

https://bkhome.org/news/202101/easyos-dunfell-261-released-for-the-raspberry-pi4.html

Today it is the turn for EasyOS Dunfell-series 2.6.1 64-bit on the PC. This is the first official release in this series.

Same packages compiled in OpenEmbedded. Latest SeaMonkey 2.53.6. A different kernel for the PC build, 5.10.11.

Read all about it here:

http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/dunfell/2.6.1/release-notes-2.6.1.htm

As stated in the release notes, all three streams are being sync'ed to the same version number.

The Buster-series 2.6.1 will probably be uploaded tomorrow. I have to compile the latest 5.4.x kernel, and SeaMonkey 2.53.6.

As to which you would choose for the PC, it is like asking "which is better, strawberry icecream or chocolate icecream?"

Read more

Top 20 Uses of Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux

The Linux OS and its related distros and flavors have transformed it from hardcore software into an industrial brand. Even if you are not a fan of it, the Linux OS might be as common as the air you breathe if you closely analyze your day to day interactive activities. Almost all the modern technologies that transform and innovate the tech industry have a Linux OS DNA imprinted on them.

Those that are yet to be branded with their innovative uniqueness and recognition are waiting in line for the famed chance. Therefore, you might boldly claim that the Linux OS does not run your life, but the world around you cannot avoid the flirty pursuits of this open-source and free software.

Nowadays, almost anything that can be described as cool is either pursuing Linux or is being pursued by Linux. It is the perfect symbiotic relationship in a world that tries to find a balance in technology and innovation. This article explores the awesomeness and outreach of the Linux OS in the world around us. It might even be an eye-opener for some of us to start taking our Linux skills to the next level. Top500 quotes Linux as the powerhouse or engine behind five-hundred fastest computers worldwide.

I do not know of the speed of the computer composing this article or whether it qualifies to be among the listed five-hundred fastest computers worldwide. However, one thing is certain; it is 100% Linux DNA. On this note, let us start parading the top 20 uses of Linux.

Read more

Kernel: LWN's Latest and IO_uring Patches

Filed under
Linux
  • Resource limits in user namespaces

    User namespaces provide a number of interesting challenges for the kernel. They give a user the illusion of owning the system, but must still operate within the restrictions that apply outside of the namespace. Resource limits represent one type of restriction that, it seems, is proving too restrictive for some users. This patch set from Alexey Gladkov attempts to address the problem by way of a not-entirely-obvious approach.

    Consider the following use case, as stated in the patch series. Some user wants to run a service that is known not to fork within a container. As a way of constraining that service, the user sets the resource limit for the number of processes to one, explicitly preventing the process from forking. That limit is global, though, so if this user tries to run two containers with that service, the second one will exceed the limit and fail to start. As a result, our user becomes depressed and considers a career change to goat farming.

    Clearly, what is needed is a way to make at least some resource limits apply on per-container basis; then each container could run its service with the process limit set to one and everybody will be happy (except perhaps the goats).

  • Fast commits for ext4

    The Linux 5.10 release included a change that is expected to significantly increase the performance of the ext4 filesystem; it goes by the name "fast commits" and introduces a new, lighter-weight journaling method. Let us look into how the feature works, who can benefit from it, and when its use may be appropriate.

    Ext4 is a journaling filesystem, designed to ensure that filesystem structures appear consistent on disk at all times. A single filesystem operation (from the user's point of view) may require multiple changes in the filesystem, which will only be coherent after all of those changes are present on the disk. If a power failure or a system crash happens in the middle of those operations, corruption of the data and filesystem structure (including unrelated files) is possible. Journaling prevents corruption by maintaining a log of transactions in a separate journal on disk. In case of a power failure, the recovery procedure can replay the journal and restore the filesystem to a consistent state.

    The ext4 journal includes the metadata changes associated with an operation, but not necessarily the related data changes. Mount options can be used to select one of three journaling modes, as described in the ext4 kernel documentation. data=ordered, the default, causes ext4 to write all data before committing the associated metadata to the journal. It does not put the data itself into the journal. The data=journal option, instead, causes all data to be written to the journal before it is put into the main filesystem; as a side effect, it disables delayed allocation and direct-I/O support. Finally, data=writeback relaxes the constraints, allowing data to be written to the filesystem after the metadata has been committed to the journal.

    Another important ext4 feature is delayed allocation, where the filesystem defers the allocation of blocks on disk for data written by applications until that data is actually written to disk. The idea is to wait until the application finishes its operations on the file, then allocate the actual number of data blocks needed on the disk at once. This optimization limits unneeded operations related to short-lived, small files, batches large writes, and helps ensure that data space is allocated contiguously. On the other hand, the writing of data to disk might be delayed (with the default settings) by a minute or so. In the default data=ordered mode, where the journal entry is written only after flushing all pending data, delayed allocation might thus delay the writing of the journal. To assure data is actually written to disk, applications use the fsync() or fdatasync() system calls, causing the data (and the journal) to be written immediately.

  • MAINTAINERS truth and fiction

    Since the release of the 5.5 kernel in January 2020, there have been almost 87,000 patches from just short of 4,600 developers merged into the mainline repository. Reviewing all of those patches would be a tall order for even the most prolific of kernel developers, so decisions on patch acceptance are delegated to a long list of subsystem maintainers, each of whom takes partial or full responsibility for a specific portion of the kernel. These maintainers are documented in a file called, surprisingly, MAINTAINERS. But the MAINTAINERS file, too, must be maintained; how well does it reflect reality?

    The MAINTAINERS file doesn't exist just to give credit to maintainers; developers make use of it to know where to send patches. The get_maintainer.pl script automates this process by looking at the files modified by a patch and generating a list of email addresses to send it to. Given that misinformation in this file can send patches astray, one would expect it to be kept up-to-date. Recently, your editor received a suggestion from Jakub Kicinski that there may be insights to be gleaned from comparing MAINTAINERS entries against activity in the real world. A bit of Python bashing later, a new analysis script was born.

  • Experimental Patches Allow For New Ioctls To Be Built Over IO_uring

    IO_uring continues to be one of the most exciting technical innovations in the Linux kernel in recent years not only for more performant I/O but also opening up other doors for new Linux innovations. IO_uring has continued adding features since being mainlined in 2019 and now the newest proposed feature is the ability to build new ioctls / kernel interfaces atop IO_uring.

    The idea of supporting kernel ioctls over IO_uring has been brought up in the past and today lead IO_uring developer Jens Axboe sent out his initial patches. These initial patches are considered experimental and sent out as "request for comments" - they provide the infrastructure to provide a file private command type with IO_uring handling the passing of the arbitrary data.

Stable Kernels: 5.10.11, 5.4.93, and 4.19.171

Filed under
Linux

I'm announcing the release of the 5.10.11 kernel.

All users of the 5.10 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 5.10.y git tree can be found at:
	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.10.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
	https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

thanks,

greg k-h

Read more

Also: Linux 5.4.93

Linux 4.19.171

Videos/Audio: Rust, Screenlockers, and mintCast

Filed under
GNU
Linux
  • Rust Programs Every Linux User Should Know About

    It seems like every new program is written in Rust these days. In fact, many older programs are being rewritten in Rust, including a lot of the standard shell utilities. Today, I wanted to briefly mention seven Rust programs that I have installed that I think you should know about.

  • Linux Lock Screens Are Fundamentally Flawed

    Screen locking is fundamentally an OS level problem however on Linux this is not how they are handled and this leads to some very simple exploits causing massive security holes on seemingly secure systems.

  • mintCast 353 – Brave New WWW

    First up, in our Wanderings, I have second thoughts about Kubuntu, Moss has a new toy, Joe has been playing with watches, Tony has been editing audio, Josh hasn’t broken Arch, Bo survived the pandemic!

    Then, our news we talk RPi Pico, Ubuntu’s Booting on an Apple M1, Flatpak is faster, Project Linux turns into Alma Linux, and more

    In security, the InterPlanetary File System

Lilbits: A new Linux-based tablet OS, and the latest Bond villain is… product placement?

Filed under
GNU
Linux

A Chinese company has been teasing a new Linux-based operating system designed for tablets for the past few weeks, promising to release JingOS, “the world’s first iPadOS-style Linux distro” on January 31.

But it looks like the operating system may not only be for tablets – the company’s latest tease shows the operating system running on an 8 inch convertible mini-laptop that looks a lot like the Chuwi MiniBook.

Read more

Linux 5.10 LTS Status and More Stables Releases of Linux Announced Today

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 5.10 LTS Will Only Be Maintained Until EOY 2022 Unless More Companies Step Up

    Announced a few years ago was the notion of "extended" LTS kernel versions whereby the long term support cycle would span six years rather than the usual two years for LTS kernels in providing maintenance and bug/security fixes to the codebase. This means Linux 5.4 LTS is supported until the end of 2025, Linux 4.19 until the end of 2024, and even Linux 4.14 until the start of 2024. But with the recently minted Linux 5.10 LTS at least for now it's only being committed to maintenance until the end of next year.

    There's been differing remarks/indications for how long the Linux 5.10 long-term support cycle would last with many expecting six years given that's what has been happening on recent LTS kernels -- even the Linux 4.4 kernel is being planned for maintenance until February 2022 and Linux 4.9 until 2023. Linux stable maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman has now provided a more transparent answer on the Linux kernel mailing list stemming from the talk over how long Linux 5.10 will be maintained.

  • Three stable kernels

    Stable kernels 5.10.11, 5.4.93, and 4.19.171 have been released. They contain important fixes and users should upgrade.

  • 5.10.11
  • 5.4.93
  • 4.19.171

10 Best Linux Distros for Developers

Filed under
GNU
Linux

While Linux might not be the favored operating system for casual users, it’s the go-to choice for most developers and programmers. Linux is a more practical OS that was explicitly designed with programming and developers in mind.

There are over 600 Linux distros to choose from, so even experienced users may seldom struggle to find their current project's ideal flavor. Linux distributions can vary hugely from one another, even though they are based on the same source. And if you’re looking to learn more about Linux distros, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best Linux distros for developers.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

EasyOS Dunfell 2.6.1 released for x86_64 PC

Yesterday announced EasyOS Dunfell 2.6.1 aarch64 for the Raspberry Pi4: https://bkhome.org/news/202101/easyos-dunfell-261-released-for-the-raspberry-pi4.html Today it is the turn for EasyOS Dunfell-series 2.6.1 64-bit on the PC. This is the first official release in this series. Same packages compiled in OpenEmbedded. Latest SeaMonkey 2.53.6. A different kernel for the PC build, 5.10.11. Read all about it here: http://distro.ibiblio.org/easyos/amd64/releases/dunfell/2.6.1/release-notes-2.6.1.htm As stated in the release notes, all three streams are being sync'ed to the same version number. The Buster-series 2.6.1 will probably be uploaded tomorrow. I have to compile the latest 5.4.x kernel, and SeaMonkey 2.53.6. As to which you would choose for the PC, it is like asking "which is better, strawberry icecream or chocolate icecream?" Read more

Top 20 Uses of Linux

The Linux OS and its related distros and flavors have transformed it from hardcore software into an industrial brand. Even if you are not a fan of it, the Linux OS might be as common as the air you breathe if you closely analyze your day to day interactive activities. Almost all the modern technologies that transform and innovate the tech industry have a Linux OS DNA imprinted on them. Those that are yet to be branded with their innovative uniqueness and recognition are waiting in line for the famed chance. Therefore, you might boldly claim that the Linux OS does not run your life, but the world around you cannot avoid the flirty pursuits of this open-source and free software. Nowadays, almost anything that can be described as cool is either pursuing Linux or is being pursued by Linux. It is the perfect symbiotic relationship in a world that tries to find a balance in technology and innovation. This article explores the awesomeness and outreach of the Linux OS in the world around us. It might even be an eye-opener for some of us to start taking our Linux skills to the next level. Top500 quotes Linux as the powerhouse or engine behind five-hundred fastest computers worldwide. I do not know of the speed of the computer composing this article or whether it qualifies to be among the listed five-hundred fastest computers worldwide. However, one thing is certain; it is 100% Linux DNA. On this note, let us start parading the top 20 uses of Linux. Read more

parted-3.4 released [stable]

Parted 3.4 has been released.  This release includes many bug fixes and new features. 
Here is Parted's home page: 
    http://www.gnu.org/software/parted/ 
For a summary of all changes and contributors, see: 
  https://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/parted.git/log/?h=v3.4 
or run this command from a git-cloned parted directory: 
  git shortlog v3.3..v3.4 (appended below) 
Here are the compressed sources and a GPG detached signature[*]: 
  http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/parted/parted-3.4.tar.xz 
  http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/parted/parted-3.4.tar.xz.sig 
Use a mirror for higher download bandwidth: 
  https://www.gnu.org/order/ftp.html 
[*] Use a .sig file to verify that the corresponding file (without the 
.sig suffix) is intact.  First, be sure to download both the .sig file 
and the corresponding tarball.  Then, run a command like this: 
  gpg --verify parted-3.4.tar.xz.sig 
If that command fails because you don't have the required public key, 
then run this command to import it: 
  gpg --keyserver keys.gnupg.net --recv-keys 117E8C168EFE3A7F 
and rerun the 'gpg --verify' command. 
This release was bootstrapped with the following tools: 
  Autoconf 2.69 
  Automake 1.16.1 
  Gettext 0.21 
  Gnulib v0.1-4131-g252c4d944a 
  Gperf 3.1 
Read more

Kernel: LWN's Latest and IO_uring Patches

  • Resource limits in user namespaces

    User namespaces provide a number of interesting challenges for the kernel. They give a user the illusion of owning the system, but must still operate within the restrictions that apply outside of the namespace. Resource limits represent one type of restriction that, it seems, is proving too restrictive for some users. This patch set from Alexey Gladkov attempts to address the problem by way of a not-entirely-obvious approach. Consider the following use case, as stated in the patch series. Some user wants to run a service that is known not to fork within a container. As a way of constraining that service, the user sets the resource limit for the number of processes to one, explicitly preventing the process from forking. That limit is global, though, so if this user tries to run two containers with that service, the second one will exceed the limit and fail to start. As a result, our user becomes depressed and considers a career change to goat farming. Clearly, what is needed is a way to make at least some resource limits apply on per-container basis; then each container could run its service with the process limit set to one and everybody will be happy (except perhaps the goats).

  • Fast commits for ext4

    The Linux 5.10 release included a change that is expected to significantly increase the performance of the ext4 filesystem; it goes by the name "fast commits" and introduces a new, lighter-weight journaling method. Let us look into how the feature works, who can benefit from it, and when its use may be appropriate. Ext4 is a journaling filesystem, designed to ensure that filesystem structures appear consistent on disk at all times. A single filesystem operation (from the user's point of view) may require multiple changes in the filesystem, which will only be coherent after all of those changes are present on the disk. If a power failure or a system crash happens in the middle of those operations, corruption of the data and filesystem structure (including unrelated files) is possible. Journaling prevents corruption by maintaining a log of transactions in a separate journal on disk. In case of a power failure, the recovery procedure can replay the journal and restore the filesystem to a consistent state. The ext4 journal includes the metadata changes associated with an operation, but not necessarily the related data changes. Mount options can be used to select one of three journaling modes, as described in the ext4 kernel documentation. data=ordered, the default, causes ext4 to write all data before committing the associated metadata to the journal. It does not put the data itself into the journal. The data=journal option, instead, causes all data to be written to the journal before it is put into the main filesystem; as a side effect, it disables delayed allocation and direct-I/O support. Finally, data=writeback relaxes the constraints, allowing data to be written to the filesystem after the metadata has been committed to the journal. Another important ext4 feature is delayed allocation, where the filesystem defers the allocation of blocks on disk for data written by applications until that data is actually written to disk. The idea is to wait until the application finishes its operations on the file, then allocate the actual number of data blocks needed on the disk at once. This optimization limits unneeded operations related to short-lived, small files, batches large writes, and helps ensure that data space is allocated contiguously. On the other hand, the writing of data to disk might be delayed (with the default settings) by a minute or so. In the default data=ordered mode, where the journal entry is written only after flushing all pending data, delayed allocation might thus delay the writing of the journal. To assure data is actually written to disk, applications use the fsync() or fdatasync() system calls, causing the data (and the journal) to be written immediately.

  • MAINTAINERS truth and fiction

    Since the release of the 5.5 kernel in January 2020, there have been almost 87,000 patches from just short of 4,600 developers merged into the mainline repository. Reviewing all of those patches would be a tall order for even the most prolific of kernel developers, so decisions on patch acceptance are delegated to a long list of subsystem maintainers, each of whom takes partial or full responsibility for a specific portion of the kernel. These maintainers are documented in a file called, surprisingly, MAINTAINERS. But the MAINTAINERS file, too, must be maintained; how well does it reflect reality? The MAINTAINERS file doesn't exist just to give credit to maintainers; developers make use of it to know where to send patches. The get_maintainer.pl script automates this process by looking at the files modified by a patch and generating a list of email addresses to send it to. Given that misinformation in this file can send patches astray, one would expect it to be kept up-to-date. Recently, your editor received a suggestion from Jakub Kicinski that there may be insights to be gleaned from comparing MAINTAINERS entries against activity in the real world. A bit of Python bashing later, a new analysis script was born.

  • Experimental Patches Allow For New Ioctls To Be Built Over IO_uring

    IO_uring continues to be one of the most exciting technical innovations in the Linux kernel in recent years not only for more performant I/O but also opening up other doors for new Linux innovations. IO_uring has continued adding features since being mainlined in 2019 and now the newest proposed feature is the ability to build new ioctls / kernel interfaces atop IO_uring. The idea of supporting kernel ioctls over IO_uring has been brought up in the past and today lead IO_uring developer Jens Axboe sent out his initial patches. These initial patches are considered experimental and sent out as "request for comments" - they provide the infrastructure to provide a file private command type with IO_uring handling the passing of the arbitrary data.